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This Week in Congress

Congress returned this week after its two-week recess to tackle government funding, which runs out March 1st for several federal agencies and programs including Agriculture, Energy and Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Transportation and Housing and Urban Development—totaling about 20% of government spending. Additionally, Rep. McGovern (D-MA) quietly filed a resolution on February 15 th prior to recess that started the clock on a discharge petition to force a vote on the Senate-passed foreign-aid supplemental. Reps. Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Golden (D-ME), and Bacon (R-NE) are pushing their $66 billion package that includes language on the border. In the Senate, acting Labor Secretary Julie Su was subject to a vote in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to see if she can get the post permanently. Su, whom Biden nominated last year to replace former Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, has been serving in an acting capacity after her nomination stalled in the Senate.

Adding to Speaker Johnson’s frustrations is Rep. Suozzi (D-NY) being sworn in Wednesday after winning a special election, leaving a 219-213 split in the House. If everyone is in attendance that means three Republican defections will kill any party-line bill. The Speaker seems to realize while the border fight is a potentially winning one for Republicans, closing the government is not, but he’s also shown increasing reluctance to compromise as he’s taken heat from the far-right, raising questions about whether he’ll go along with a bipartisan spending plan again.